Is Science a religion?

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Is science a religion?

  • Yes, it is

    Votes: 2 7.1%
  • No, it is not

    Votes: 26 92.9%
  • Errmm... No comment

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    28
  • #1
Parnpuu
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Reading threads on this forum (especially under cosmology and Debunk), I see that many people make the accusation or statement that a person has distanced himself from science and logic and towards belief or religion. So I ask you - Do you think that science is a religion?

I'd say it ultimately it comes down to- How do I know that I know?

Anyway, what do you think?


EDIT: A more specific question:

Are science, religion and also philosophy based on the same foundations?
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
Unknot
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No, science is not a religion. The concept of paradigm simply does not exist in a religion. Science is more of a method, of which we all are pretty sure there is no better method to comprehend the world.
 
  • #3
arildno2
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1
"Ultimately it comes down to our eras most important philosophical question- How do I know that I know?"

Why is that question more important than, say?
"When will I get laid next time?"
or
"What am I going to have for lunch?"
 
  • #4
Parnpuu
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Well you can't really know can you?:)
 
  • #5
cristo
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  • #6
humanino
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Do you think that science is a religion?
Of course not ! This can not be a serious question... Tell me, is beer an entree or a dessert ? Is Friday a color ? Is beauty a quantity ? Do we real need to discuss this ? If you really want to discuss this, can you elaborate on which point precisely you would like to focus ?
 
  • #7
Parnpuu
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Well if you need a more focused question then perhaps this one:

Are science, religion and philosophy for that matter based on the same foundations?

(actually now that I think about it it isn't really focused now is it ;)
 
  • #8
Unknot
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Religion is not based on anything. That's what religion is! :biggrin:
 
  • #10
cristo
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  • #11
Werg22
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No, but there is certainly zealotry in its ranks reminiscent of religion. And then you have the "saints", Newton, Einstein and the click.
 
  • #12
Parnpuu
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To Cristo : sorry:)
 
  • #13
Parnpuu
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No, science is not a religion. The concept of paradigm simply does not exist in a religion. Science is more of a method, of which we all are pretty sure there is no better method to comprehend the world.


Do you count logic under paradigm?

If so then what about the various "proofs of god"? Suggest reading the ones from Anselm and from Thomas of Aquino - They're the more famous ones.







Footnote: I am not a christian or in any other way a religious person. (But I do like to define myself as a philosopher .:roll:.)
 
  • #14
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No, but there is certainly zealotry in its ranks reminiscent of religion. And then you have the "saints", Newton, Einstein and the click.

"clique".
 
  • #15
Unknot
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Do you count logic under paradigm?

If so then what about the various "proofs of god"? Suggest reading the ones from Anselm and from Thomas of Aquino - They're the more famous ones.

First, I'm not a philosopher, so I may say something completely outrageous.

Is logic a paradigm? I don't think so. I feel that logic is part of our intelligence and cognition. It cannot be called a belief, because we don't believe in it - we just feel it that way. I don't think there is more "enlightenment" to come regarding logic. There hasn't been any, and there won't be any (I think).

First Anselm's "proof", it's total rubbish. The problem is not the logic here though. He bases this on some nonsense of necessary and contingent existence.

What about Thomas of Aquino? I haven't heard that one, but I will look it up now.

But these "proofs" are clearly not proofs. If there is one proof that uses logic and established facts (empirically or trivially), I would like to see it.
 
  • #16
tony134340
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I'd flip that around and say religion is a science. Religion tries to take a certain view and fit it to common logic while Science seems take common logic and see where ever it goes. Religion starts with common logic and makes you think this statement makes sense, or that this is true or probably true, because the previous statement makes sense. It's fuzzy science, or twisted science. Perhaps the science of human manipulation. I can speak of this because I used to be a firm believer in the Abrahamic religions. I tried to take my view of what I thought was true and try to fit it to logic but I tried and tried and just couldn't do it. I tried to prove God to myself through logic and it obviously didn't happen. And once I could free myself from religion, I could totally free myself and be a free thinker. No more trying to hold a view and build around it.

Religion does seem to have a logical basis and I think that's where it fools you. [edit] Mix logic and a hopeful word, say what they want to hear, in a book and people just lick it up. If you choose your words carefully, you can pretty much get away with almost anything you want. Maybe you could call it the science of psychiatric manipulation.
 
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  • #17
Parnpuu
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I'd flip that around and say religion is a science. Religion tries to take a certain view and fit it to common logic while Science seems take common logic and see where ever it goes. Religion starts with common logic and makes you think this statement makes sense, or that this is true or probably true, because the previous statement makes sense. It's fuzzy science, or twisted science. Perhaps the science of human manipulation. I can speak of this because I used to be a firm believer in the Abrahamic religions. I tried to take my view of what I thought was true and try to fit it to logic but I tried and tried and just couldn't do it. I tried to prove God to myself through logic and it obviously didn't happen. And once I could free myself from religion, I could totally free myself and be a free thinker. No more trying to hold a view and build around it.

Religion does seem to have a logical basis and I think that's where it fools you. [edit] Mix logic and a hopeful word, say what they want to hear, in a book and people just lick it up. If you choose your words carefully, you can pretty much get away with almost anything you want. Maybe you could call it the science of psychiatric manipulation.

This in my opinion raises the question of how we define "religion". Based on what you have said, religion would be something of a movement that is based on worship and on the words of a few people. That would certainly be true about the Abrahamic religions as you have said but I would like to take a more broader definition of religion because there now exist many religious movements that are not really based on worship or a prophet for that matter (some of them have been sparked by the advance of modern science I may add -- "God Theory for example). Alot of religions emphasize understanding the world at a deeper level and give a more personal approach to it. They lack the clear hirearchical structure of the Abrahamic religions and many of them do not give any ethical codes to live to (and all those things.)
 
  • #18
jambaugh
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Stupid question, stupid poll. You'll never hear a scientist trying to claim religion is a science. Why to theologians want to compare science to their belief system?

Because they envy the ability science has that they only claim, to heal the sick and feed the hungry and otherwise improve the quality of life on this planet? Not really.

Because they want to justify their belief system as "just another alternative" and most particularly to justify denying scientific evidence which runs contrary to the dogma of their beliefs as "just a choice of belief".

The attempt to push creation "science" into the science classroom is like trying to push creationism into a mathematics or computer programming. It is a religious/philosophical issue outside the subject at hand.
 
  • #19
Parnpuu
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Stupid question, stupid poll. You'll never hear a scientist trying to claim religion is a science. Why to theologians want to compare science to their belief system?

Because they envy the ability science has that they only claim, to heal the sick and feed the hungry and otherwise improve the quality of life on this planet? Not really.

Because they want to justify their belief system as "just another alternative" and most particularly to justify denying scientific evidence which runs contrary to the dogma of their beliefs as "just a choice of belief".

The attempt to push creation "science" into the science classroom is like trying to push creationism into a mathematics or computer programming. It is a religious/philosophical issue outside the subject at hand.


Again,as I said in my previous post, I think we should acknowledge the difference between religions as well. There are a lot of religions that are based on the same fundamental principle as science is: To find out how the world works. These religions are more based on self-finding and hightened sensing and so on (not really aan expert so can't go into specifics). True they make some assumptions (as does science) and they have a more "personal" approach (meaning they are not meant to be provable to everyone, just yourself). This more modern approach that it does not really matter how you approach the subject of learning more about the universe is very far from the abrahamic religions that we all know. The difference is that it has a spiritual approach.

Could we agree then that these religions and science lie on the same principles even if they are somewhat contradictory. (Although in my opinion they needn't be) or is there some fault in my logic?

BTW: I would like to bring to your notice that the quote from Galilei that you have, does not necessarily exclude the spiritual approach to the matter?!?!?
 
  • #20
tony134340
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I'd agree, this can be a very fuzzy argument. If we go into specifics, it gets hard to arbitrate the two. I'm really not even sure why I feel the need to argue the topic. What we have that's proven Science is just that and it stands on solid ground. So the rest is mostly up to interpretation.

Humans naturally like to distinguish things, put things in order, and say 'you go here' and 'you go there' so it'll all be nice, neat, and fit for their consumption to easily understand. I feel myself a lot of the time doing the opposite and telling people they're more like others than they may like to believe. Or trying to cross lines in a debate some don't like to go. Things get messy. The Universe can be messy. Though it can be clean and organized if you view it that way. We can find all kinds of ways to see how things fit together and we can find all kinds of ways to see how they can go together usually. It's up to interpretation. You can find ways science and religion are alike and you can distinguish them if you want.

It really doesn't matter much, imho. The Science people probably don't want the religious peoples' word mixing in with theirs and vice versa. It's probably important to distinguish the two, at least on a loose term. But it's not for me to decide but it's rather interesting discussing.
 
  • #21
russ_watters
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Do you count logic under paradigm?

If so then what about the various "proofs of god"? Suggest reading the ones from Anselm and from Thomas of Aquino - They're the more famous ones.

Footnote: I am not a christian or in any other way a religious person. (But I do like to define myself as a philosopher .:roll:.)
It is made clear in all religious texts including the bible that they require faith, so attempts to prove them are started on fallacy.

You didn't define religion anywhere that I can see, but here's how I define it and here's why the question has a correct and incorrect answer (shouldn't be a poll). A religion is a faith-based belief system. Science is a not a belief system, it is a method for examining the natural world.
 
  • #22
russ_watters
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Stupid question, stupid poll. You'll never hear a scientist trying to claim religion is a science. Why to theologians want to compare science to their belief system?

Because they envy the ability science has that they only claim, to heal the sick and feed the hungry and otherwise improve the quality of life on this planet? Not really.

Because they want to justify their belief system as "just another alternative" and most particularly to justify denying scientific evidence which runs contrary to the dogma of their beliefs as "just a choice of belief".

The attempt to push creation "science" into the science classroom is like trying to push creationism into a mathematics or computer programming. It is a religious/philosophical issue outside the subject at hand.
Yes. These questions are typically based on the desire of the religious to co-opt what science is/has, whether to try to pull religion up to the level of science or bring science down to the level of religion.
 
  • #23
tony134340
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Yes. These questions are typically based on the desire of the religious to co-opt what science is/has, whether to try to pull religion up to the level of science or bring science down to the level of religion.

I wouldn't be so quick to mock religion. I used to do the same for all the bull I went through for religion. But the truth is, your truth is only a truth beneficial for your survival, just as we may argue religion is. People seem to seek it because it makes them feel good and survive certain trials better.

We all live a version of our own truth that is beneficial for our own survival, whether it's the whole truth or not. Some guy may be better at a certain game than you are. And so you may feel irrelevent or insecure but you may go on and hope you can get better. It doesn't matter that you suck, that you probably don't even need to be playing because you're just that bad, but you still go on because it's beneficial for your survival to compete. You ignore the truth, that you could possibly be irrelevant, un-needed but you go on because you have hope. You have certain human emotions which interfere with what may be the truth on a universal scale. We're all tainted with human emotion whether we want to admit it or not.

In the overall scheme of things, we could be just as a cancer upon the Earth, devouring so much of it that we kill the thing which feeds us. If it came down to where killing others was beneficial due to over-population, do you think we'd admit it? I don't think so. Some of us could but most of us would be in denial. Most of the religious would come up with some other crap such as upping the number of death row inmates so they could hold on to their dogged ideals. I'm not sure the human population could ever, as a majority, say that it's time to start killing people, at least, in a direct fashion. We all live somewhat of a lie. There's shades of gray in everything. We're all slaves to chemicals which changes our outlook on things.

The more and more I live, the more and more I see how gray and gooey the universe is. We're all more alike than we like to admit sometimes and more different than we like to admit sometimes. The same goes for ideas or beliefs also. Though most of my views won't be popular because they reside in that gray, dull, uncolorful area and usually tends to take no sides or take both so it's usually not too popular. Man is just prone to competition and we usually try to find a logical excuse to promote fighting with others.

I would also add, the paths in science we usually go after are the ones which benefit us. We usually tend to look for a way to manipulate something for our own benefit. Truth will almost always be biased toward the benefit of the observer. Why do we even argue over who's right or not? Is it to benefit us or even the individual on a local scale? It's not to attain truth for the sake of truth if we gain nothing from it, is it? The ego loves being right.
 
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  • #24
Parnpuu
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It is made clear in all religious texts including the bible that they require faith, so attempts to prove them are started on fallacy.

You didn't define religion anywhere that I can see, but here's how I define it and here's why the question has a correct and incorrect answer (shouldn't be a poll). A religion is a faith-based belief system. Science is a not a belief system, it is a method for examining the natural world.


I will probably get slapped for this but I'll go forth anyway:

Now if we leave all these fuzzy arguments, definements of how they approach things differently and are based on different emotions. I would start from the very basics and then move on if we can:

BOTH, in my opinion, require the same belief as a starting point- Belief that what they are doing is right. At the very core you must ultimately believe that trying to explain the world through scientific method is a correct way, that our empirical knowledge is actually real. (suggest reading about Boltzmann, he has some very interesting theories). I know that you could probably say this about anything, not only religion and science but I think that in every people's life there comes a time for choice- when he has to choose with which approach to the world he will start with. And at a starting point, those choices are on a even level. Now the fact that some choices are more idiotic or may turn out to be dead-ends is a different matter- I will leave it to someone else to contemplate on.

I know that this can be a bit confusing but would anyone agree to this or present another approach?
 
  • #25
Phrak
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Reading threads on this forum (especially under cosmology and Debunk), I see that many people make the accusation or statement that a person has distanced himself from science and logic and towards belief or religion. So I ask you - Do you think that science is a religion?

I'd say it ultimately it comes down to- How do I know that I know?

Anyway, what do you think?

EDIT: A more specific question:

Are science, religion and also philosophy based on the same foundations?

In a minority sense science does have a religious nature. Why would one champion experimentally obtained facts over self interest? What sort of ridiculous thing would this be; but it happens--on occasion. If it doesn't the practitioners are not practicing science, but pretending. Tell me why one should not, without some rather bazaar notions of proper behavior. Science only survives, when it does, when self interest, on average, positively correlates with objectively obtained deductions. Look at the Global Warming B.S. Science lost. Self interest prevails, because of weak correlation. Nothing new under the Sun.
 
  • #26
mjsd
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This in my opinion raises the question of how we define "religion". ...... Alot of religions emphasize understanding the world at a deeper level and give a more personal approach to it. They lack the clear hirearchical structure of the Abrahamic religions and many of them do not give any ethical codes to live to (and all those things.)

Since you have realised that "religion" may not be as black and white as you may hope it can be defined, it means that your original yes/no question on whether Science is a religion is kind of meaningless. you need a better definition of what you meant by "religion" first (as someone else has already mentioned).

I would start from the very basics and then move on if we can:

BOTH, in my opinion, require the same belief as a starting point- Belief that what they are doing is right. .......

One important point to remember is that this "starting point" is usually regarded as fixed for "religion" (normal usage of the term), while the so-called starting point for "Science" can be evolving based on our interactions with the world. And so there is a difference. (but of course, it still depends on how you define "religion")

For a better discussion see (links):
Taking Science on faith, by Paul Davies
and the subsequent discussion by leading scientists
(I personally quite like Lee Smolin's response) http://www.edge.org/discourse/science_faith.html
 
  • #27
jambaugh
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Again,as I said in my previous post, I think we should acknowledge the difference between religions as well. There are a lot of religions that are based on the same fundamental principle as science is: To find out how the world works.
That is not the fundamental principle of science. It is the motivation. The fundamental principle of science is that this quest is defined only within a context of empirical epistemology. This makes it totally distinct from religions. Epistemology shapes the very foundation of the subject including what we mean by "the world" and what we mean by "how it works".

These religions are more based on self-finding and hightened sensing and so on (not really aan expert so can't go into specifics).
i.e. the epistemology of "wishing makes it so" and "nothing you can tell me will make me stop believing"...
True they make some assumptions (as does science) and they have a more "personal" approach (meaning they are not meant to be provable to everyone, just yourself). This more modern approach that it does not really matter how you approach the subject of learning more about the universe is very far from the abrahamic religions that we all know. The difference is that it has a spiritual approach.
More modern? Its been around as long as man has appreciated his own mortality and began double think to deny the empirical evidence of his eyes. All this reversion to "personal" religion has done is allow the individual to escape the one redeeming quality of the traditional religious dogmas, namely the imposition of personal discipline and responsibility.
The individual can pick and choose what dogma he will believe...when that interferes with his desires he can disallow it.

Don't get me wrong, knowledge and belief have always been personal individual acts. But if you are going to start with the dogma of a scripture then you should take it whole or reject its claims of special insight. Look upon it as any literature, providing insight in to the world the author sees and a common source of cultural iconic parables. If you're going to advocate personalized quest for knowledge have the person go all the way back to the true foundation and rethink the epistemological basis of his definition of "knowledge".

Could we agree then that these religions and science lie on the same principles even if they are somewhat contradictory. (Although in my opinion they needn't be) or is there some fault in my logic?
No because the framework of "how we know" is totally different and thus the meaning of "knowledge" and "truth" are incomparable. The only religious founder I've ever read who is an exception to this rule is the original Buddha... he called on the listener to confirm via experience what he was saying rather than take it on faith. (This with regard to conditioned existence and not the world view of reincarnation, et al which was inherited from the pre-Buddhism religions of India).

BTW: I would like to bring to your notice that the quote from Galilei that you have, does not necessarily exclude the spiritual approach to the matter?!?!?
My quote is Galilei's argument that science is distinct from gnostic insight, and that he chose his religious beliefs to be compatible with science. But note the distinction he makes and understand his times where failure to conform to the religion of the day was punishable with imprisonment, and possibly death. Recall that Galileo was forced to recant his empirical observations because they were incompatible with the "faith" of the times. Then recall his stage whisper of "yet still they move!". He did not defy the church out of gnostic insight or faith, he defied them because he saw with his own eyes and he knew that if only others would just look they too would see with their own eyes. He was not a prophet he was a scientist and these are very very distinct things.

Let me say that I have great respect for many peoples faith. It is their reason I question when they try to equate their faith with science. Science can never address reality beyond the observable. By restricting itself to that domain it can say more with more certainty within that domain.

Religions can claim anything about anything and by the lack of discipline (within the general class of religious belief) they end up saying everything about everything. So pick your belief... pick your religion... what does it matter...what does it mean? In the end the prophet says "believe me" and the scientist says "here is the evidence. Believe it or not as you choose".

Science is about not taking things on faith, not believing because it is the dogma of the day, but believing even when that belief defies intuition and faith and desire because that is what the evidence gleaned by rigorous observations say the truth must be. You can't get that from meditation or inspiration or prayer.

Finally let me say that science is one thing and scientists are another. Theorists may theorize and many claims will be presented very far from the screen of empirical tests. But the academic peer review process is design to, albeit sometimes quite slowly, filter out the theology from the science.
 
  • #28
Parnpuu
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That is not the fundamental principle of science. It is the motivation. The fundamental principle of science is that this quest is defined only within a context of empirical epistemology. This makes it totally distinct from religions. Epistemology shapes the very foundation of the subject including what we mean by "the world" and what we mean by "how it works".


i.e. the epistemology of "wishing makes it so" and "nothing you can tell me will make me stop believing"...

More modern? Its been around as long as man has appreciated his own mortality and began double think to deny the empirical evidence of his eyes. All this reversion to "personal" religion has done is allow the individual to escape the one redeeming quality of the traditional religious dogmas, namely the imposition of personal discipline and responsibility.
The individual can pick and choose what dogma he will believe...when that interferes with his desires he can disallow it.

Don't get me wrong, knowledge and belief have always been personal individual acts. But if you are going to start with the dogma of a scripture then you should take it whole or reject its claims of special insight. Look upon it as any literature, providing insight in to the world the author sees and a common source of cultural iconic parables. If you're going to advocate personalized quest for knowledge have the person go all the way back to the true foundation and rethink the epistemological basis of his definition of "knowledge".


No because the framework of "how we know" is totally different and thus the meaning of "knowledge" and "truth" are incomparable. The only religious founder I've ever read who is an exception to this rule is the original Buddha... he called on the listener to confirm via experience what he was saying rather than take it on faith. (This with regard to conditioned existence and not the world view of reincarnation, et al which was inherited from the pre-Buddhism religions of India).


My quote is Galilei's argument that science is distinct from gnostic insight, and that he chose his religious beliefs to be compatible with science. But note the distinction he makes and understand his times where failure to conform to the religion of the day was punishable with imprisonment, and possibly death. Recall that Galileo was forced to recant his empirical observations because they were incompatible with the "faith" of the times. Then recall his stage whisper of "yet still they move!". He did not defy the church out of gnostic insight or faith, he defied them because he saw with his own eyes and he knew that if only others would just look they too would see with their own eyes. He was not a prophet he was a scientist and these are very very distinct things.

Let me say that I have great respect for many peoples faith. It is their reason I question when they try to equate their faith with science. Science can never address reality beyond the observable. By restricting itself to that domain it can say more with more certainty within that domain.

Religions can claim anything about anything and by the lack of discipline (within the general class of religious belief) they end up saying everything about everything. So pick your belief... pick your religion... what does it matter...what does it mean? In the end the prophet says "believe me" and the scientist says "here is the evidence. Believe it or not as you choose".

Science is about not taking things on faith, not believing because it is the dogma of the day, but believing even when that belief defies intuition and faith and desire because that is what the evidence gleaned by rigorous observations say the truth must be. You can't get that from meditation or inspiration or prayer.

Finally let me say that science is one thing and scientists are another. Theorists may theorize and many claims will be presented very far from the screen of empirical tests. But the academic peer review process is design to, albeit sometimes quite slowly, filter out the theology from the science.


Excellent argumentation !
 
  • #29
russ_watters
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I wouldn't be so quick to mock religion. I used to do the same for all the bull I went through for religion. But the truth is, your truth is only a truth beneficial for your survival, just as we may argue religion is. People seem to seek it because it makes them feel good and survive certain trials better....

Why do we even argue over who's right or not? Is it to benefit us or even the individual on a local scale? It's not to attain truth for the sake of truth if we gain nothing from it, is it? The ego loves being right.
I don't see how any of your post is relevant to mine. None of it addresses the question in the OP. The reasons why people seek religion vs science aren't really relevant to whether religion is a science. Further, most religious people that I've come across don't try to co-opt science in the manner implied by the OP, so it isn't really relevant to discuss them or their reasons for being religious. This thread (and my post) isn't about them.
 
  • #30
Parnpuu
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I would try to take the subject forward now.

A quote for you to ponder on:

The universe is infinite and thus you can not know everything, so you are bound to take some things on faith (fill in the gaps with faith)

Any comments on this?

Also starting from that perspective, I'd say a similar process to the adaptive nature of science, also takes place in religion. In the light of new discoveries the theory is changed into a better one. The difference is that in religion most of these changes are based on social changes, not physical. First thing to come to my mind would be the great reformation by Luther, also Calvinism and Protestantism.

Your opinions on this?
 
  • #31
jambaugh
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I would try to take the subject forward now.

A quote for you to ponder on:

The universe is infinite and thus you can not know everything, so you are bound to take some things on faith (fill in the gaps with faith)

Any comments on this?
Firstly on what basis do you hold the assertion that the universe is infinite? Is this a matter of faith or can you back the claim up with empirical evidence.

Secondly knowing whether it is raining on the third planet of Alpha Proxima is not "a gap which can be filled in by faith". So your reasoning is faulty. The existence of ignorance does not imply we must adopt arbitrary beliefs in order to pretend that ignorance doesn't exist. For example I don't need faith to "complete" knowledge about systems to which Godel's incompleteness proof applies. I simply acknowledge ignorance...a far more powerful position then pretended knowledge.

Also starting from that perspective, I'd say a similar process to the adaptive nature of science, also takes place in religion. In the light of new discoveries the theory is changed into a better one. The difference is that in religion most of these changes are based on social changes, not physical. First thing to come to my mind would be the great reformation by Luther, also Calvinism and Protestantism.

Your opinions on this?
Right, given enough religions those which adopt dogmas which help them prosper will endure. So Jews got less tricinosis by believing that pork was unclean. But by applying science we can have our pork and eat it too...i.e. increase our available food supply and avoid tricinosis and other pork born diseases by careful processing. Science adapts consciously...religions "adapt" by the strong killing off the weak or via mutation.

But my tricinosis analogy is bad because that was an empirically derived bit of knowledge. People saw a correlation between diet and illness. However once this scientifically derived knowledge was incorporated into the religion of the time all exploration for true cause (rather than God's inexplicable will) ceased.

While you bring up Luther's reformation recall also the persecution and destruction of alternative Christian creeds e.g. the Gnostics. There is good argument that Roman Catholicism prevailed, not because it was more true but rather because it was the better tyrant, incorporating the church into government and thus making available the full force of law in imposing its dogma while at the same time enforcing law by the threat of mystical violence via excommunication and eternal damnation.

Your analogy is like comparing the development of the the polio vaccine by Salk with the development of alkaloid poisons by plant species. The plants do not "know" they are merely the ones who survived by the accident of the chemicals they produce helping them prosper and dominate. Likewise having an advanced liver isn't knowing though it helps one eat plants with certain alkaloid poisons. Contrast this with learning to denature the poisons by cooking your food.
 
  • #32
runner
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Is science a religion?

From what I've seen, intelligent design proponents would like us to think that it is, that there is no distinction between the verifiable (science) and the unverifiable (religion).
 
  • #33
humanino
2,490
8
BOTH, in my opinion, require the same belief as a starting point- Belief that what they are doing is right.
[...]

I know that this can be a bit confusing but would anyone agree to this or present another approach?
Sure that's agreeable. While engaging in science, you must have faith that there is not just simple pure random chaos going on out there. But that's a minor irrelevant detail compared to the profound distinction that follows : in science you test your hypothesis, and you discard them if they prove wrong. In religion, questioning the principles leads you to Hell. How can this enormous opposition of attitude still qualify science as a religion just baffles me.
 
  • #34
Parnpuu
24
0
Ok, I'm going to try to sum up everything that's said here and see if we have a final answer:

Although science and religion are both based on the same faith that what they are doing is right, science adapts a position of an observer, allowing oneself the possibility of fault and evolves through trial and error, trying to find out more about the universe while religion is ultimately placed on certain claims, from which at least a few can not be observed in our physis (Lets leave the discussion of physis and metaphysis for another thread) and thus need to be taken on someones word, religion trying to give a theory on things that we (at least presently) can not observe in our universe.

Everyone okay with this or should I change something?
 
  • #35
Parnpuu
24
0
Sure that's agreeable. While engaging in science, you must have faith that there is not just simple pure random chaos going on out there. But that's a minor irrelevant detail compared to the profound distinction that follows : in science you test your hypothesis, and you discard them if they prove wrong. In religion, questioning the principles leads you to Hell. How can this enormous opposition of attitude still qualify science as a religion just baffles me.

Not all religions say you go to hell. many don't even have the so-called darker side and are purely based on hightening your position in the universe (or whatever, don't really know that specifically).
 

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